So, I’m involved in an organization called GeorgiaCarry.Org (GCO). The organization exists to protect and restore 2A rights in our home state. It’s a fantastic organization and truly centered on its mission. It’s not a fundraising organization like some others out there which I will not name. Everyone at GCO is a volunteer. No one draws a paycheck and that applies from the Board of Directors down. GCO has been instrumental and crucial in the passage of all the positive gun bills since its inception. And their members are what makes the organization what it is. GCO members are people of action, not just words.
Yesterday HB 875 passed the House Committee of Public Safety and Homeland Security. This is the best gun bill Georgia has seen in years. The most important highlights of this bill is that it restores private property rights to churches and bars and affords tenants in public housing the opportunity to be legally equipped to defend themselves. The bill contains numerous other benefits as well. The Safe Carry Protection Act is a big step forward in restoring liberty and trust in the general citizenry.
I was honored with the opportunity to speak in favor of this bill yesterday. Those who know me well are aware of my dad’s history and involvement in GA politics. My level of involvement thus far, however, has only been to make myself as knowledgeable as possible and to vote in every election possible. But yesterday, I finally understood why Dad enjoyed the process so much. It’s history being made. It’s being able to actually be a part of the legislative process and not only have a say at the ballot box but to be a part of shaping the laws which are made by those put into office at the ballot box. It’s really a fascinating process up close. And it felt great to be there as it passed the committee.
I was approached and thanked by several reps, thanking me for my words and for being there. Darlene Taylor expressed her pleasure at my being there. She’s in favor of this bill and she’s the only woman on the committee who is, so I feel like she was particularly appreciative to have additional female support represented. I think that they appreciate regular citizens coming out and voicing their opinions rather than listening to lobbyists all the time or getting form letters or nasty comments and threats from their constituents. I know that we often sit at home and watch and read the news in disgust and complain about our lawmakers but speaking in front of them, in person, is a productive way to be more involved. I think also, being a woman, that my voice and the voices of other women who were there in favor of this bill, goes a long way with them. It allows them to personally hear how bills can help or harm the citizenry at large.
I had a fantastic experience yesterday and I hope to be able to stand before the State Senate soon and share my voice before them as well as HB 875 moves forward.
Here is the statement which I prepared and delivered yesterday:
“Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Committee,
I come before you today first and foremost as a woman. I am also an NRA certified instructor, leader of a 40 member women’s shooting chapter and a supporter of the right and responsibility to defend oneself.
I have read this bill in its entirety. This is the best bill concerning gun and private property rights put forth in years and I am strongly in favor of it. As someone who is very active in my church as a Stephen Minister, Sunday School teacher and choir member, I often find myself there in the evenings and, often walking back to my car located in one of the handful of parking lots scattered about in downtown Marietta, in the dark. Current law prevents me from legally being able to defend myself properly in this situation should the need arise. I take great issue with this for two reasons: One, churches are private property and should be treated as such. No government should be able to grant certain private property rights to one private entity yet deny the same to another. Secondly, it is my responsibility and, ultimately, mine alone to protect myself. Our police are a wonderful resource but criminals are not generally known to wait for the police to arrive before committing heinous and unlawful acts. For most victims, the police are there in time for the crime to be reported but not there in time to prevent it from being committed. I shouldn’t be denied by law the right to equip myself for my own proactive protection whether it’s at the grocery store, my home or a place of worship.
Victims are not allowed the opportunity to know when or where they may be victimized. Being one of millions of women who have been victimized at some point in their lives, I’ve had the unfortunate need to defend my life and safety. In 1999 I found myself being chased by my ex-husband with an ASP baton like many police carry. There was no help in sight and no one to depend upon to save me but myself. I felt 100% certain that my life was in jeopardy at that moment. Thinking quickly, I drew my carry gun at that time from my purse and ordered him to not take another step toward me. That day, I was able to defend myself and deter him from the harm he intended to inflict upon me without firing a single shot. Had I not been properly equipped, I feel very confident in saying that I would not be alive today.
As a woman, it’s important to me to feel safe, secure and equipped with the ability to defend myself. As a citizen and 2nd Amendment supporter, freedom, liberty and rights are dear to my heart. The more limitations there are on where I am permitted to be lawfully armed, the less safe, secure and equipped I am and the more my liberty and rights are infringed upon. As a believer in liberty and The Constitution, I’d like to further point out that current and further restrictions upon where carry is permitted by law is, at its core, rooted in distrust of the lawful citizenry and, as such, is not in accordance with a free society rooted in liberty.
I implore you, as both a woman and citizen, to support and favor this bill.
Thank you for your consideration.”